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Data from: Biotic interactions govern genetic adaptation to toxicants

Cite this dataset

Becker, Jeremias Martin; Liess, Matthias (2015). Data from: Biotic interactions govern genetic adaptation to toxicants [Dataset]. Dryad.


The genetic recovery of resistant populations released from pesticide exposure is accelerated by the presence of environmental stressors. By contrast, the relevance of environmental stressors for the spread of resistance during pesticide exposure has not been studied. Moreover, the consequences of interactions between different stressors have not been considered. Here we show that stress through intraspecific competition accelerates microevolution, because it enhances fitness differences between adapted and non-adapted individuals. By contrast, stress through interspecific competition or predation reduces intraspecific competition and thereby delays microevolution. This was demonstrated in mosquito populations (Culex quinquefasciatus) that were exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Non-selective predation through harvesting and interspecific competition with Daphnia magna delayed the selection for individuals carrying the ace-1R resistance allele. Under non-toxic conditions, susceptible individuals without ace-1R prevailed. Likewise, predation delayed the reverse adaptation of the populations to a non-toxic environment, while the effect of interspecific competition was not significant. Applying a simulation model, we further identified how microevolution is generally determined by the type and degree of competition and predation. We infer that interactions with other species—especially strong in ecosystems with high biodiversity—can delay the development of pesticide resistance.

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